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Personal Injury Law Journal: March 2011

Simon Emslie investigates how insurers can strike back

After lengthy proceedings with much medical and other expert evidence, an assessment of damages hearing takes place resulting in a substantial award to reflect the claimant’s significant persisting level of disability. That award of damages is paid by the insurer, costs are paid and files are about to be archived. The insurer suddenly then produces hours of recent covert video footage of the claimant and contends that he was not as seriously disabled as he had claimed at trial. They want the award of damages set aside. What happens next? That was the question facing the Court of Appeal in the case of Martin Raymond Owens v Mark Noble [2010].

Andrew Hogan considers whether we have reached the end of success fees

On 18 January 2011, the Fourth Section of the European Court of Human Rights handed down judgment in the case of MGN v The United Kingdom [2008], wherein the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the success fees awarded to Naomi Campbell’s lawyers in hard-fought domestic litigation, and assessed on perfectly conventional principles in the United Kingdom courts, were a disproportionate interference with MGN’s rights under article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights.

Tim Petts looks at how far Everett v Comojo (UK) Ltd [2011] can take us

The basic facts of this personal injury claim are sadly not uncommon, and those with experience in criminal practice (or who read local newspapers) will be all too aware of the possibility of nightclub arguments turning nasty. Robert and Carl go to a London hotel’s nightclub as guests of a member, a dispute breaks out about the group’s behaviour towards a waitress and Cecil, a guest of another member, stabs them with a concealed weapon. He had not been searched on entry. The waitress in question had thought that something might happen between the two groups but had not alerted the doormen, although she was in the middle of discussing the matter with the bar manager. Should the nightclub’s management be held liable for these injuries and, if so, upon what legal basis?

Anthony Gold

Stephanie Prior reviews the legal implications of the Implanon contraceptive device

Over the last 12 years, Implanon, the only subdermal contraceptive available in the UK, has been used by thousands of women.

Nick Leech and Andrew Sands outline recent developments in the protection of cash balances, and the impact for personal injury victims

Much of the economic and financial news over recent times has concentrated on the VAT rate rise, reducing debt, fiscal austerity and the possibility of a double-dip recession. Although the banking crisis and the credit crunch now make up less of the headlines, most professionals and their clients are still rightly concerned about financial security and investor protection for their cash deposits. Many have spread their cash between several intuitions for added security.

Paul Jones discusses when a 100% success fee applies

Fixed success fees in RTA claims, accidents at work and industrial disease claims have undoubtedly resulted in fewer arguments over the level of success fees in such cases. However, one area that continues to generate friction is the jump to a 100% success fee for any such case that ‘concludes at trial’. While one would think that this phrase was fairly self evident, the world of costs loves nothing more than a good argument over semantics, as can be seen from the recent case of Amin & anor v Mullings & anor [2011].

Susan Freeborn assesses the legal status of the fetus

Why is it that a woman is entitled to refuse treatment in utero for her unborn child but, once delivered, that child can receive treatment in the face of parental opposition if a court sanctions it? The unique legal status of the fetus is a challenging and fascinating topic.